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Governor Gives Alaska Timber Mills a Boost

June 28, 2010, Klawock, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today signed House Bill 162, legislation establishing a Southeast State Forest to manage more acres for timber harvest. The new state forest will create new job opportunities.

This forest, covering 25,291 acres, is the third in the Alaska State Forest System and the first addition since the Tanana Valley State Forest in 1983.

“This bill will create jobs in Southeast Alaska and provide small businesses with more economic opportunity,” Governor Parnell said. “This is the first step in our strategy to revitalize the timber industry and expand wood energy in Southeast Alaska.”

This designation of state lands enables the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry (DOF) to invest in and manage the land for a long-term timber supply for local processors, while allowing for multiple other uses.

DOF will move ahead with projects for pre-commercial thinning of young stands of trees that are now 20 years old. The work will be contracted to the private sector for the thinning of approximately 1,000 acres over the next 12 to 24 months. The treatment will prepare the site for a return to commercial harvest, and will increase the wood quality and volume-per-acre in the timber stands.

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